Hives going into Winter

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by brooksbeefarm, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have 15 hives out of sixty going into winter either short on brood or short on stoers. This year is alot like last year, to much rain.(5.5 in. four weeks ago and 6.8 in. the next week) The ones that were weak i combined and the weather is to cold to feed syurp so i'm using foundant and what some call the mountain camp system (never tried it before) hope it will work. I put a piece of newspaper down over the the top super frames (none sticking out of the super) wet the edges of the paper with sugar syurp poured 5 lbs of sugar on top of paper and sprayed sugar lightly with the syurp.( don't know how this is going to work with sbb's?. last year i had several hives die out with fifty pounds of honey on them and the very small cluster within 2 inches of their stores starve to death, (head first in the cells) My guess is they were protecting the queen and wouldn't move because of the cold temp. Anyone have a better way to get them through the winter. Jack
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    jack:
    last year i had several hives die out with fifty pounds of honey on them and the very small cluster within 2 inches of their stores starve to death, (head first in the cells) My guess is they were protecting the queen and wouldn't move because of the cold temp. Anyone have a better way to get them through the winter.

    tecumseh:
    ya' think the small cluster size could be associated with breeding? russians, italian, mutts?
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    tecumseh, it could have something to do with it but when i went through the dead outs( last year) there were no pollen to be found. My thinking is with all the late summer and fall rain it kept the pollen washed out and they couldn't raise a winter brood. I raise most of my queens from my best hives and so far had good luck doing so. Some of these were late summer nuc's that i put in 10 frame deeps with drawn comb,and they had all of sept. and are still working the aster when it's not raining (it's raining as i post this now).This year and last year has been unusually wet. Jack
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I think perhaps you have figured out the answer (or at least part of the answer) to your own question Jack.

    Old undernourished bee going into a modestly bad winter would sound like a receipt for disaster. I think?? this same general idea is why pollen supplementation feeding (for the almonds) has been shown to work best when done in the late fall.

    Another consideration that comes to mind is that sometimes small cluster size (or say any general characteristic of a 'breed' of bees) is sometimes an advantange and sometimes it can suddenly become a disadvantage. your prior year's experience could simply suggest what happens when any kind of increase in death loss occurs to a very smaller population (which quite often happens in some unusual environmental circumstance).

    lastly.... with weak bee or bees that seem to be incapable of moving to the next frame of feed or the frame feeder at this point in time I usually suspect nosema. Fairly soon I will begin using my newly acquired microscope to KNOW when nosema is a concern. At this point in time and often time acting on instinct (and not any hard information on my part) I do KNOW via experience over the past two years that when I run into a weak hive that overpriced bottle of fumidil is the cheapest tool in my tool box.
     
  5. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I have a bottle of fumagilin B(2 grams) i bought this last March ($39.95) got a new Glory Bee cat. last week and the same bottle is now $49.95? :beg: Haven't got into buying a microscope yet, i wouldn't know what i was looking at or for if i saw it. :confused: Have any of you brought your bees through the winter with the mountain camp system. The hives i'm trying this on is 60 miles from home and i don't think 5 lbs of sugar will last them to long. These are strong hives at this time but when the older bees die off this might not be the case. Jack